New Thoughts Around Calendaring

I’m looking for help finding new thoughts to practice around saying no and honoring commitments to myself when it comes to following my calendar. I end up in the same cycle as my brain serves me thoughts to block any solutions I might come up with. I know this is all a tactic to keep me from the hard stuff of saying no and honoring commitments to myself. Here’s an example:

Situation: My team at work is IMing me questions all day long. It may be to help unblock them from a task, understand a process or get additional information from me to complete something they are working on for me. This has been more of a problem lately as the company has been going through big changes and I am leading up some of the processes to keep business moving. I schedule time in my day to respond to IMs as well as flex time to accommodate unexpected high priority tasks that may come up. But this constant flow of distraction often takes up more time than I’ve allowed for it and causes me to push back on project work I’d already planned into my calendar for the day, usually taking the space for scheduled “me time.”

Brain: I must make time to get back to everyone or their work will be blocked and nothing will get done. Keeping things moving is how I add value.
Me: Maybe you could schedule more flex time in your day to allow flexibility?
Brain: But then I’ll get less planned project work done and not be as valuable.
Me: Maybe you could say no to requests, especially if they are starting to extend beyond the time you’ve allocated to respond?
Brain: But then I won’t be able to help people in a timely manner so everything will be blocked and nothing will get done.

What are some new thoughts I could try on to try to stop this cycle?